There are numerous websites that claim you can get a free laptop, a free mp3 player, a free WiiTM or a free Xbox 360TM. Before you try to claim your free high-priced electronic item, however, you should scrutinize the offer and determine whether it is legitimate or a scam. The following seven recommendations will help you to make an informed decision:
1. Read the fine print. You can review the terms and conditions specified by the company offering the free item before committing yourself to the item. Most free laptop, free mp3 player, free Nintendo WiiTM and free Xbox 360TM offers are not really free. Before you can claim your “free” item, you often have to complete a certain number of offers. These offers can involve something free, such as opening a new credit card account, or they can involve purchases, such as joining a music club and buying a specified number of music cds. When you calculate the actual cost of completing the required number of offers, you might be surprised about how much your “free” item will cost you. Also, some companies require you to complete a specified number of free offers and require you to convince someone else to also complete the same number of offers. In these cases, you only receive your free laptop, free mp3 player, free WiiTM or free Xbox 360TM after both people complete the offers.
2. Locate a contact phone number. You can search for a customer service number on the website offering the free item. You need to know who to contact to resolve a billing dispute. You also need to know who to contact to resolve a missing or damage item claim. You should be cautious when the website does not include a contact phone number. In this situation, you should consider how you would resolve any problems that might occur with your order before placing your order online.
3. Read company reviews. You can use a major Internet search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, to search for reviews of the company offering the free laptop, the free mp3 player, the free WiiTM or the free Xbox 360TM. You should also review the company’s status with the Better Business Bureau. In cases where you find many negative reviews for the company, you should consider alternative sources for your free item.
4. Avoid spam. You can set up a free email account, such as a free Yahoo mail account or a free Google mail (Gmail) account, to use when responding to free offers. Sometimes responding to free offers can result in a lot of spam being sent to your email account. With a free email account, you can delete the account after you receive your free item.
5. Review product specifications. You can ask questions to make sure that the free laptop, the free mp3 player, the free WiiTM or the free Xbox 360TM is new and meets your needs before completing the required offers. For example, an older model laptop might need expensive upgrades in order to run current software.
6. Ask questions about product authenticity. Xbox 360TM is a registered trademark of Microsoft and WiiTM is a registered trademark of Nintendo. You need to ask questions about the product you will receive. Will you receive the genuine product or a lower-cost knockoff?
7. Comparison shop. You can use Internet price comparison websites, such as Shopzilla and NexTag to find the lowest advertised price for the item you are seeking. You can compare the lowest advertised price to the actual cost of completing the required offers. In some cases, it will be cheaper to actually purchase the item elsewhere than it is to complete the required offers.
In some cases, free laptop, free mp3 player, free WiiTM and free Xbox 360TM offers are a low-cost or no-cost way to obtain a desired electronic item. By following the above seven recommendations, you will be able to make an informed decision regarding these offers.